The brand-new DS3 Cabrio, the revamped C3 Picasso and the DS3 Electrum EV concept won’t be the only models Citroen will display at its Paris Motor Show stand. Far from it, the French carmaker is launching a full-on assault on both ends of the market.
On one hand, Citroen wants to be perceived as a bold and creative brand that is moving upmarket by means of its technological advances and unique styling through its DS lineup.
In Paris, the DS4 and DS5 will both gain as limited edition Blue Pearl variant with pearlescent white body paint, gloss chrome details and 18-inch alloys on the outside and watchstrap-style leather upholstery on the inside. The DS4 will also be available with the HDi 160 diesel engine and a six-speed auto gearbox.
Also on display will be the Numero 9 concept, a study for a shooting brake-style luxury saloon that was unveiled earlier this year at the Beijing Auto Show. Although it officially lacks the DS designation, Citroen has already made it clear that it belongs to the DS family.
Chances are that mainstream buyers in China and other emerging markets will be much more interested in the two Citroen models that belong to the other end of the spectrum, that of the compact saloon category, which last year accounted for a third of global sales, or about 20 million vehicles.
The C-Elysée is Citroen’s version of the Peugeot 301 and its biggest selling point aside from the price will be the capacious interior thanks to the long wheelbase (2.65 m) and the large boot area of 506 liters.
Also in the same segment, though positioned a bit higher in terms of price, is the C4-based C4 L, the first-ever Citroen to be designed by the company’s Chinese style center.
Unlike the C-Elysée, which will be available with a 97bhp petrol engine, the more upscale C4 L will be powered by the VTi 135 and turbocharged THP 150 and 170 petrol engines linked to either a new auto or sequential six-speed gearbox.
By Andrew Tsaousis